54 minutes ago
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO READER, DIE-HEAD NYY/NYR FAN, AND JUST ALL AROUND DYNAMITE GUY, TIMMY REILLY! He is also consistently always one of the first people to wish me a happy birthday, and I know guys don't really care about birthdays, but wishing a chick a happy birthday is basically the equivalent of saving her from a teradactyl, probably. Have a good one, Timmy! Also:
Today in Yankee history (h/t takehimdowntown): Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth went yard in the same inning 19 times during their Yankee careers, and 72 times in the same game. In an 11-7 Yankee win over George Blaeholder and the Browns on August 21, 1931, The Babe hit his 600th career home run, and Lou followed him, going back-to-back.
You know how stifling my work schedule usually is, so when I get out early enough to watch the non-Encore showing of the game (aka the LIVE one), it's like when Charlie found that silver coin in the sewer that let him splurge on some Willy Wonka chocolate. Sure, there are more productive things I could use with the unexpected free time (like sleep), but no, I want the Wonka chocolate live Yankee game.
On Monday, there was no game. And then it was like when Charlie opened up the chocolate bar but saw no golden ticket.
Whatever, anyways, my point is that I figured I could either use that free time to do laundry or read as much baseballprospectus.com as I could until I fell asleep.
I start reading the Monday Ten Pack, and you know I don't generally get into the farm players too much, but right before I almost ADHD-ed myself into a new article, I see that amidst the rest of the propsects listed in the piece, there's someone called Rookie Davis.
That's his name! I mean, at first I though, "How come this guy gets this Berenstien Bear nomenclature? Pape Bear, Brother Bear, etc." Rookie Davis. Actually, it looks like my cell phone's nomenclature in the contact list, "Southern Sean," Softball Megan," "Ranger fan Mike" "Lauren from Dorrian's."
So I keep reading and--woot woot!--he's a Yankee prospect, in Staten Island. I'm beyond excited about the implications of the game recaps when he gets called up. I'm picturing the Associated Press geting all frustrated with Microsoft Word, whenever they're wiring over their copy: "Dammit, Word. Stop autocorrecting 'Rookie Rookie Davis'!"
Ok, that's not the only reason I'm excited. He's got a 94mph fastball, is averaging a strikeout per inning, and working off speed stuff, curve, breaking ball.. When can he start? I like this guy. A nice, 94mph hurling RHP with ox strength, at 6'4'' and 235 lbs.
Cheers, Rookie Rookie Davis. Looking forward to seeing you whenever you're called to bring your heat to 161st Street!
AND THIRD/FOURTH ITEMS:
Two come from behnd wins! In one day! And we weren't even playing the Twins. Quid haec amentia est???
I'm not sure what possessed me to just throw in the Latin before I even got to the post-script, but I'm gonna go ahead and say it's symbolic of the fact that if the Yankees can subvert what they've been doing all season, I'll kindly follow suit.
Both wins were spectacular. If I had to choose a favorite between the two (and I have no idea what the situation would ever be where I'd HAVE to choose one, but you know how I am about the concept of liking multiple things "equally"--it's impossible unless we're talking about siblings or parents. Just trying to do my part to abolish this practice)--well, I'd probably choose the 2nd game because it was a walk-off and that's exciting, but also because it was a "gritty" win.
I'm using "gritty" to mean a hardfought win, and I'm not sure that adjective is appropriate, but I'm running with it since gritty is one of those adjectives that I feel like we use whenever we can't define what intense emotion we're experiencing. It already means a bunch of non-related things already, anyway, what's one more?
(Will never come close to this word, though.)
Anyways, before there was the gritty 2-3 win, there was the daygame delight that began as the daygame disaster (that's a turn of a phrase only a mother would get a kick out of, I think), when the Yanks fell behind 4-0 almost immediately.
And this sucked particularly after all the hype around getting Super Nova on the mound, who's been playing like he's scared the Repo Man is going to come knocking on his door demanding he relinquish the "Super" part of his moniker for liquidation purposes.
5 hits and no more runs for rest of inning, but like my buddy Russo once told me: "Until you put up 1 run, it doesn't matter how many they score against you. You can't win a game with a 0."
Cano considers this theory right before he takes his at bat in the 3rd, decides it makes sense, and puts 3 runs on the board to cut the Jays' lead to 1. Oh, and it was his 200th ding btw. NBD. Cano never strikes me as the type to pay attention to that kind of thing.
I know, I know. All ball players do. But I remember when he was a cocky rookie who acted like he was sort of doing everyone a favor by being there...
Then it was like he went to one of those boot camps that Jerry Springer sends out of control teens, who come back to the show a year later wearing argyle cardigans and apologizing profusely for their past sins.
Cano became Johnny Discipline. He's focused and quietly austere when it comes to performing. And when it comes to dugout rapport, well, has anyone ever seen a dugout shot of Cano when he's NOT laughing? Really happy he was able to move on post-Melky breakup.
Ok so yeah, after it's a 4-3 game, NOW it matters how many the opposing offense scores. But to that end, they didn't do any more of it. The Yanks, on the other hand, did.
So you got the Gamecast on at your desk at work, and you're annotating and writing manuscripts and whatnot, taking mini-breaks to watch more closely whenever the Yanks are in the MLB answer to the Red Zone.
And, you know, you just don't really know if you computer froze or you're missing something or if whatever intern in charge of streaming the stats that power GameCast just messed up a little...because when you see a blue circle and an "(in play)" notation next to Chris Stewart that soon becomes a "Run(s) scored"...well, you sit up a little and cock your head and wait for the inevitable yelp from another corner of the office from someone else who is also watching the Gamecast.
But that's me, anyway.
Stewart hits a 3-run shot. Of course. The guy who made a point of going on record during pre-season basically saying, "Ok, I'm good on defense. But, like, just don't expect much offense-wise. Because, um, that's probably not gonna happen."
After that, the game was cream cheese. (I'm sure it was a little harder than that--pause--but the emotionless Gamecast made it look easy, anyway.)
I guess Girardi didn't think so, though, since he brought Joba in for basically the amount of time it takes Vanna White to flip a letter (or "touch" the letter anyway. Because one day someone bet her that there's no way her job could get any easier, and she took that bet and convinced them to change the letter-revealing technology. Probably that's what happened, anyway.)
Joba walked one batter and Joe was like, "Ok, great, thanks for coming out! Don't call us, we'll call you. Mo! You're up."
Ha, non-save situation. Bet Mo loves being woken up from his catnap to bail out Joba.
Yanks end up winning 8-4, and then we all waited for the night game, where I think I can safely say that fatigue from an earlier game compounded with a Hughes start didn't really evoke wild confidence from the fans. Maybe Jays fans, actually.
But Hughes pitched his little heart out, while managing not to let the little baseball out.(Of the park). Seriously. Not a one. They better replace his jumbotron stat with that one. Because last I saw, it was something like, "Phil Hughes has only allowed 4 stolen bases all year." Maybe they can change that to, "Phil Hughes did not drive 55,000 attending fans into apopletic rage in his last 1 start."
P-Hu became P-WHO?? (Really logging in a lot of mom-esque humor in this post...)
Cano began the scoring, just like in the day game, which was nice since the Yanks were in that "0-runs-vs-existing-run(s)" predicament. Then Cano drove in Romine to negate Rajai Davis' first inning score on a wild P-Hu pitch.
1-1 game, exciting! (Kinda funny since the YES booth tonality was an interesting backdrop to the tension of the game. Man, I love Cone. And Kay. And I LOVE when Kay does his little insight-seeking-probes to former players, like, "Ooh, and that's ball 4. CC walks him to load the bases. David, you were a pitcher. Tell me, when you were pitching, did walking the bases loaded make you happy or sad?")
In this game, while P-WHO?? is gutting out (FINALLY) a stellar start, in a tight-played game, Kay is opining how pitching is like Van Gogh or something like that. And Cone is disagreeing very adamantly.
And then they swerve into a discussion about Paul O'Neil (I think his waist size came into play at one point). All the while, the Yanks are struggling against MARK BEUHELRWHATEVER [sic], of all people, who the Yanks typically view as a cartoon slab of steak, mouths watering.
Davis sac flies the Jays into a 2-1 lead, and then, totally predictably (nope), Jayson Nix takes him deep. and 2-2 game! I think I almost saw him smile but I think it was just a bug on my tv screen.
Mo gets pulled in again, and every time he takes the field, it's like you can't even really concentrate on the game going on, because all you're thinking about is the fact that we're not gonna see him play in another couple months.
So when he does that thing he does where he shoots out like a handful of 91mph cutters to blank the opposition, it's kind of bittersweet because WHERE ARE WE GONNA FIND THAT MAGIC AGAIN? No where. Narnia, MAYBE.
(That said, bullpen as a whole, all day, was stunning. Claiborne, Kelley, D-Rob, Blogan...not one run from the lot of them.)
But as exciting as all this low-scoring game stuff was, I was in no mood for an extra innings game. Sometimes my mindset will be like "ok yes I want a win, but if it's gotta go into extras, so be it. I like stress etc."
But these games aren't like May games, where you can afford the luxury of personal excitement. These games are economic Ws. Aint nobody got time for extras!
Nix obviously felt the same way, and decided to drive in Sneach to win the game. Sneach, oh yeah, somehow ended up on 3rd. I swear he is not human.
Where did he come from?? One minute Mark Reynolds is squeezing out a walk, the next second Sneach is just hanging out on 3rd base. He's like Ganon in the Zelda video game, who was impossible to beat because he was mostly invisible.
Even after Sneach crossed home, and the walkoff celebrations began, it sort of looked like Sneach was running off into oblivion. Probably tomorrow we'll see that he managed to not only get his 4,000th hit but also has managed to reach 9,120 sometime in the time before today's game.
A real big set of wins for the boys. Cano went 4 for 4. Nix was a hero (hope he went out and picked up a girl or something!) A-Rod struck out a lot, though. Man, what's that guy done lately? I mean, aside from completely rejuvenate an anemic lineup over the course of a week.
In other news, Girardi got fined because he got mad about Dempster throwing at A-Rod. MLB agreed A-Rod was thrown at. So they did the only fair thing which was fine Girardi $5,000, and suspend Ryan Dempster for 0 starts. Not sure if that's gonna deter anyone from going headhunting on every A-Rod at bat.
So Ryan I suppose could have appealed this and continued playing, if he wanted to. Which is a right he alone, and no one else, should be privy to. To the supreme shock of approximately no one, he decided not to exercise that appeal choice and insteadn opted to graciously accept his
Eh, whatever. Do your worst, league. They're the Yankees. If you think a bunch of booing and journalistic crucifixion is going to subdue them, then you've never lived in New York. We're tougher than you think here.
Remember my trampoline theory, because for once it may be the Yankees on the other side of it:
I've always loved living on the top floor apartment because I don't have to hear anyone's footsteps above me. But then someone moved in to the unit directly below me 2 months ago, and I watched as the new tenant rolled a trampoline into 4A. When you're at the top, it never occurs to you to consider these possibilities. Until you hear the people below you banging their heads against your floor. You don't anticipate trouble from below you. You never know when the #1 spot is going to encounter the unexpected from the bottom.
Putant ex eo omnes figuratum. Illi autem cognoverunt non quid possumus facere.